Namibia: Councillor Warns Against Civil Strife Over Land

15 February 2018

Keetmanshoop — The contentious issue of land if not addressed properly has the potential to bring civil unrest in the country and thus it is up to every Namibian to ensure this does not come to that.

This is according to Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency Councillor Elias !Kharuxab, who said the land issue is sensitive in the country and the constituency in particular, and that if not tackled well can bring unrest in the country, and this he said should be avoided at all costs by working together to reach consensus on the land issue that was central to the liberation struggle.

The constituency has had its fair share of land issues especially last year when residents of the area expressed anger over what they perceived unfair allocation of resettlement farms, especially to people from other regions, while they remain landless, with some invading a government farm saying they have waited long to be resettled.

But !Kharuxab says while the land issue remains a challenge, extreme care should be taken by everyone to avoid conflicts that could bring disorder in the country, and he urged everyone to work together to find a workable solution to the land issue.

"We should thus hold hands in the spirit of Harambee," he said.

The councillor who was addressing residents of the constituency during his second state of the constituency address at Aroab, also spoke of other challenges facing the constituency, such as lack of housing and sanitation, and high crime and high unemployment rates.

He was specifically worried about the high unemployment rate, saying the constituency is one of the poorest, and while this can be linked to the historical background due to land ownership, many still remain without land and thus are not economically productive.

"Eighty percent of our inhabitants are unemployed with the youth topping the list, and the economy in this area in terms of fertile land and farming units still remains in the hands of a few, while the majority are employed as farm workers but paid low salaries that cannot sustain them," he said.

He also spoke proudly of the achievements of the constituency, with the tarring of 8.5 kilometres of road, construction of a fire station and servicing of 70 low-cost residential plots at Aroab as some of the achievements.

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